2014 NBA Draft: Grading each team’s draft

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Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; A general view as the names of the first round draft picks are displayed above the stage during the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NBA Draft is (finally) in the rear view mirror, and with that, the league will begin to transition from draft preparation into the wonderful world of free agency.

However, much time and effort was spent by the clubs in getting themselves ready for this year’s draft, and it seems only appropriate that the various organizations would be evaluated on the moves that they elected to make.

In the spirit of that evaluation, it is time to grade each and every one of the league’s 30 teams.

From the aspect of fairness and even-handed analysis, alphabetical order has been chosen, and the teams will be examined as if their draft day trades have been fully accepted and approved by the league itself.

The bookends of former Kansas swingman and top overall pick Andrew Wiggins and former Baylor power forward and “Mr. Irrelevant” pick Cory Jefferson tell a small piece of the story, but there is much to dissect in between. Without further ado, let’s get things rolling.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Boston Celtics Brooklyn Nets Charlotte Hornets Chicago Bulls Cleveland Cavaliers Dallas Mavericks Denver Nuggets Detroit Pistons Golden State Warriors Houston Rockets Indiana Pacers Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers Memphis Grizzlies Miami Heat Milwaukee Bucks Minnesota TImberwolves New Orleans Pelicans New York Knicks Oklahoma City Thunder Orlando Magic Philadelphia 76ers Phoenix Suns Portland Trail Blazers Sacramento Kings San Antonio Spurs Toronto Raptors Utah Jazz Washington Wizards

  • thomas rickard

    The Lakers did great, especially in getting Clarkson in 2nd round, sounds like someone who can help in the future

  • Guy

    Brooklyn acquires guys you freely admit could all be cut, but give them a C-. The reigning Executive of the Year drafts someone he’s scouted for a year & was #2 on his board but you’d never heard of, so they get an F+? What that says to me is that your coverage of the draft process isn’t anywhere near as good as you think it is.

  • Draftdog

    A fan’s critique of the critique!

    Adreian Payne is a great pick up at 15. Not much can be said for the other two
    prospects Walter Tavares, he’s tall, and Lamar Patterson just is. Neither should have been drafted. Your ‘A-‘ was a gift. ‘B’.

    At 6 Smart is a good pick for Boston. James Young, an unathletic, streaky shooting
    guard a Lottery prospect? Ridiculous. We came to the same ‘B+’ grade by different

    Markel Brown has a real shot at making the Nets roster. Xavier Thames and Cory Jefferson
    chances are slim. I’m not sure how you reached you concluding grade of ‘C-‘.
    Picking that late is a crap shoot so I’ll just give them a ‘B’

    Vonleh dropping to the Hornets was a gift from the BB gods, and Hairston has
    real NBA talent and is about as sure a thing as you are going to find that
    late. The Hornets smoked this draft. An ‘A++’ would have been more appropriate.

    Chicago’s ‘D’ is generous.

    Cleveland got it right with the number one pick but that was the easy part, the
    obvious pick. You are giving them an A+ after they completely blew it in
    the second round? Joe Harris, a huge reach, would likely have gone
    undrafted had they not taken him at 33, and will struggle to even make the
    team. There were too many available to list, that were obviously better
    picks than Harris. Incredible, Cleveland can even make horrible picks in
    the early 2nd round. As easy as the first pick was and as awful as the second one was a ‘C’ would be more accurate.

    I completely agree with your Denver analysis. Nurkic is a considerable
    reach at 16. Harris at 19 is a great value pick. Jokic will likely
    never be an NBA player.

    Detroit, having one second round pick hit the jackpot in Dinwiddie. Your ‘A+’ is spot on.

    Houston, smart, clever. Nick Johnson is a player, however it may take some time to transition.

    This is a deep draft and there were too many serviceable players available to take Wilcox at 28.
    Your ‘D-‘ looks real good forLAC. One would expect better from Doc.

    I agree with your ‘B+’ for LAL, but question your analysis. If you consider Randle a home
    run, which I do not, then you have to give LAL at least an A. Clarkson at 46 was indeed a steal.

    Unlike you, I was not impressed with either Memphis pick. They nearly wasted a bountiful draft. ‘D’.

    Napier may not be the best player available at 24, but it
    was a small reach for the added benefit of pleasing LaBron.

    Jabari Parker was a no brainer for Milwaukee at 2. Damien Inglis, on the other hand, was a bit
    of a reach even if he does have upside.
    Considering what Milwaukee left on the table Jonny O’Bryant looks to
    also be a reach also. I give them a ‘B’.

    If I were a GM, I would probably be rolling the dice all the time. Zack LaVine was one of my favorite
    players in the draft and taking him at 13 will prove to be genius, albeit down
    the road a bit. Add to that, Glenn Robinson III at 40 and you have an ‘A+’ draft.

    You were spot on for the Pelicans. Is there anyone awake in the Big Easy?

    Is Phil Jackson going to turn out to be a smoothie like Riley before him? I really like Early, but to
    be fair it is doubtful he will have a career equal to Chandler’s. However, Chandler is 31 years old and Jackson is trying to build team for the future. Thanasis Antetokounmpo is by all accounts a huge 22 year old project. Your ‘B+’ seems just a little generous to me, ‘B’.

    OKC quite simply wasted the best draft we’ve seen in quite a while. If McGary stays healthy, and that
    is a big if, he may be able to contribute, but there were so many better
    choices at 21, and his lottery pedigree simply does not translate to this draft healthy or not. Huestis, who is he anyway? He wouldn’t be the 29th pick in last year’s draft. I doubt he will do anything except practice. ‘F’.

    When the Magic took Gordon at 4, to say I was shocked would be an understatement. Drafting Payton at
    10 was equally dumbfounding. They now have two guards that can defend but can’t shoot and a forward with the same affliction. ‘C’.

    I was hoping the 6ers would accelerate their rebuilding process, but instead they have extended it.
    Embiid is an immense talent, and I am hoping the 6ers know something
    about his injury problems that us fans are not privy to. With the information available I wouldn’t
    touch him, especially at the top of the lottery. Dario Saric is one of my favorites, but again
    they are extending the rebuild. I guess I just agree with most of what you’ve said, and my admiration for Saric out weights my skepticism of Embiid’s health, so your ‘A’ looks good. I just have one question didn’t they also draft Vasilje Micic?

    The Phoenix Suns reached for TJ Warren and Bogdan Bogdanovic is a wasted first round
    pick. Your ‘B’ is far too generous. ‘C’.

    I’m sorry, drafting Nik Stauskas at 8 is bad enough, but when you realize they left Noah Vonleh on the board this is a huge mistake. ‘F’.

    I am definitely not a Kyle Anderson fan, but I respect the Spurs organization too much to give them worse than a ‘B’.

    One would have to wonder if Bruno Caboclo might have been
    available at 37 and Daniels is just a very bad pick at 37 in this draft. Your ‘F+’ seems about right.

    The Jazz indeed hit two home runs in the same inning.

    There now, aren’t you glad I straightened that out for you?

  • FaAmos

    (Spurs Fan) I know what the Spurs were thinking and I’m just glad we drafted one player that were not gonna stash over seas to save cap space and I think if Kyle Anderson didn’t fall to us I think we would have but id like to have seen the Spurs walk and chew gum at the time. Work on repeating and we have to keep and add more talent but also work on life without Timmy and Manu. Trading both our 2nds and if so trading future seconds to move up to grab Thanasis Antetokounmpo who if Kyle Anderson is only gonna hit our cap around 900K this season then Thanasis couldn’t be more than 500K-800K and he’s not ready but store him with the Austin Toros for a season or two or even though I think it would have taken to much to move up enough to grab Glenn Rob the 3rd who’s ready now unlike Thanasis but Thanasis has more potential but both could easily turn into key players in life after Timmy and Manu. Thanasis older brother played well but should have been in the D-league last season and his younger brother Thanasis who all agree has much more upside but like his older brother Giannis needs time to develop. If Duncan and Manu play just one more season and we already got Mills for 3yrs,’still working on Diaw but if Gasol came and had a couple more seasons in him and we all know Pop knows how to keep his vets fresh a roster of Parker, Thanasis, Kyle Anderson, Kahwi, Diaw, Gasol, Splitter and Mills would keep the Spurs a Contender especially once Duncan and Manu’s salary is off the books we would have enough cap maybe sign max player but we really need Diaw back. It’s rare a first year Spur contributes his first year.